Written by: Cristina García
Today’s society is described by many authors as the network society, then social media within the tourism sector is an irrefutable must. Don’t you agree? These kind of social platforms no longer only help you reach new customers but they help you reach new companies, new partners. You have to think consumers these days rely more on business that they can reach on the Internet.
If you have website so that any user can find information about you and get your product or service, your company is building a transparent reputation. That way, if you partner with another company from the hospitality industry with the same transparency, you will be building a really solid bond for your business and your potential customers.
Like we said, social media is the way to start. In fact, it is now easier to find company to partner with on these platforms such as LinkedIn, the most professional social network. And before giving you some tips on how to get partners in tourism, let’s talk about figures, so you can have a better overall idea.
For instance, LinkedIn is the sixth most used social media and it now has 97 million monthly active users, 76% of which are building relationships with other professionals. Furthermore, 74,1% of users declared that LinkedIn has helped them researching people and companies.
That’s the reason why through social media, you can build partnership with other businesses as well as strengthen existing ones. These partnerships are a commitment based on trust, which is a very important element when you start building the relationship.
You need to know very clearly who is your audience and what brands do they like. You can use several online tools that allows you to better know who are the users that belong your audience, when they are connected and who they follow. With the analysis of these data, you will know what type of partners you should associate with. Not every company would work, but those which can complement your offer of products and/or services and which are not direct competition.
Don’t only think in a partnership with local companies, local restaurant or even tour operators. Think outside the box! Social media is full of influencers that enable other users to purchase. And there are a lot of influencers related to the tourism sector, who to partner with. In this case, you need to have in mind what you can offer in return. If your potential partner does not clearly see his interest in the partnership, it is a lost cause.
Before establishing a partnership, you need to ask yourself the right questions. In fact, you first have to figure out what is the aim of this partnership. Do you want to gain more visibility as well as awareness? Do you want to increase your turnover? Always remember what your goals are. So never forget that partnerships are a win-win situation, both brands need to benefit from it.
Once you enter into contact with them, do not take anything for granted, because entering into contact is the easiest part. Establishing strong partnership through social media requires as many efforts as a face-to-face interaction.
When your relationship is well established, it is time to decide what type of campaign or campaigns you could do together:
Co-branding. Let’s say you want to release a new product. If you want additional exposure, a co-branding is a good idea. On the one hand, you could incorporate your partner’s brand into the design and messaging. On the other hand, you could collaborate for some demos and reviews.
Prizes. Now, let’s say you need exposure and you are not going to release anything new, but you want to boost something you already have. Then, to giveaway that in a contest through your partner (for instance, a social media influencer) some product or service, it will be an easy and interesting option.
Never miss a chance to get your partner involved deeper in your social media campaigns too. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra support, such as sharing your content on their social networks, by offering the same in return. That way you will be involving a lot more your partner in your social media campaigns. If this is the case, you have to create a very compelling, engaging and valuable content to appeal and retain users.
In short, entering in a partnership will allow you to be better known and will ultimately increase your turnover. As you can see, social media has increased the chances for partner marketing and decreased the barriers to formal and informal partnerships. And you can start multiple relationships as long as you know they will benefit your tourism company.